Merrick's Art | 3 Ways to Make Your Own Sunshine
Merrick's Art | Pink Embroidered Dress
Merrick's Art | Blowing Bubbles
Merrick's Art | White Eyelet Dress
Merrick's Art | Flowers with B
Merrick's Art | little boy kisses
Merrick's Art | AERIN perfume Amber Musk
Merrick's Art | Ring around the rosies
Merrick's Art | AERIN Beauty Amber Musk Perfume
OUTFIT DETAILS: dress (refashioned from this dress, tutorial coming on Friday!) | sandals | perfume c/o AERIN beauty (amber musk) | sunglasses | buxom lipgloss in “bellini”  
On B: mint t-shirt | skinny jeans (cut into shorts)
*photography by sara walk

When I became a mom, my own mom taught me a super valuable lesson. She told me, “Motherhood comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges, and it’s easy to get bogged down, lonely, and unhappy. But ultimately, you are the only person who can choose to have a happy life, so it’s important to make your own sunshine.”

It’s a concept that has repeated in my mind constantly over my last five years of motherhood, and I know it will stay with me forever because it rings so true to me. Motherhood is challenging. It’s hard to find balance. It’s hard to be constantly present. It’s hard to not lose your identity a little bit amidst the spit up and sleepless nights and endless soccer practices. Don’t wait for other people or different circumstances to make your life feel happier — just do it yourself!

These are three ways I make my own sunshine to make my life happier, and you can too!

1. Make normal days special. This is a huge part of my way of making my own sunshine. I put up decorations and make festive meals for every random holiday, I throw parties with my friends regularly not because it’s someone’s birthday but just because, I make the effort to attend playgroups so my kids and I make close friends, I take the kids out to lunch occasionally just for fun, and we make picnics and eat at the park at least once a week. I also buy myself a lot of fresh flowers, because they make me really happy. These are just little ways that I make a normal day happy and fun, and in turn it makes me a better and happier mom.

2. Take care of yourself first. It is really easy to fall into the mom slump and stay in your sweats, unshowered and unkempt, the whole day. But on days like this, I feel unproductive, lazy, and by the end of the day I feel frustrated and gross. So there are three things that instantly and always make me feel better — a shower, getting dressed, and wearing perfume (especially this new Amber Musk perfume from AERIN beauty — it’s subtle, sexy, and immediately makes me feel glamorous). These are like magical steps to erasing my grouchiness and instantly making me feel prettier, more productive, and happier.

3. Believe that balance is achievable.  I heard somewhere that balance is a myth. And while it’s impossible to juggle everything, I really really really believe that balance can be achieve by making sure one area of your life isn’t taking over. For me, work is the thing that easily takes over, and as soon as it does I can absolutely feel the strain. I feel like the best version of myself when I’m going to the gym, spending quality time with my family, eating well, taking time for myself, sleeping enough, and working hard. It’s hard to do consistently, but it’s absolutely possible if you want it badly enough. And honestly, I’ve found that when I make time for the gym, all of those other things just magically fall into place and I feel like my best self. But no matter how you go about it, make sure that one area of your life isn’t hoarding all of your time and attention.

Ultimately, a happy life should be an important goal regardless of how you try to achieve it. You deserve to feel happy, beautiful and fulfilled. And making your own sunshine, even if it’s just with one simple spray of delicious smelling perfume every day, is worth the effort!

thank you to AERIN beauty for partnering on this post!